I am Rim Gilfanov, a Tatar journalist and Director of Radio Free Europe's Tatar-Bashkir Service. AMA
My name is Rim Gilfanov. I've been a journalists for over 25 years -- first based in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia, and for the last 20 years at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The world's attention is now focused on Crimea and the attempt by its de-facto leadership to split off from Ukraine and make it a part of Russia. And while much attention has been given to the majority ethnic-Russians, few talk about the Crimean Tatars. A Turkic-Muslim people, they make up 14 percent of the population now, but they are a politically very active and pro-Ukrainian force in the peninsula. Crimean Tatars suffered mass deportations 70 years ago, which were ordered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Joining Russia is seen as a return to the tragic past for Crimean Tatars. Their leadership, one of whose members I interviewed shortly after his phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has vociferously spoken out against a potential annexation of the peninsula by Russia.
Proof: Al Jazeera piece (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/03/crimea-tatars-homeland-at-stake-2014355402511335.html) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/guilfanr)
EDIT: THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR QUESTIONS AND YOUR INTEREST IN THE ISSUE, IT WAS PLEASURE TO ANSWER! KEEP TUNED!